Thomas let out a sigh as he looked into the room within the dungeon. The monsters within the room were not exactly surprising but they were definitely going to be annoying. He was starting to wonder if he should have just stayed on the second floor instead of making his way down to the third floor today. Dealing with the zombies had been easy enough, if smelly, and worth a fair bit of experience. He'd come down to the third floor in the hopes of getting more experience but looking at the monsters... he let out another sigh.
Within the dungeon room was a group of twenty-five monsters. Their numbers weren't the issue though. It was the composition of the group. Eight of the monsters were skeletons from the first floor with different classes. Twelve were just zombies. None of that was all that bad. It was the last five monsters that bothered him. Skeletal beings wearing hoods as they floated through the air with half translucent bodies. Ghosts or more likely, Wraiths. They consisted of only a torso, arms, and a head as they hovered around the group of twenty corporeal monsters.
Thomas had studied the group of monsters from outside of the room for about a minute now trying to recall everything he could about wraiths in various games. Like all ghost-type monsters, they were immune to physical attacks. Sometimes they were also immune to all but specific types of magic. Holy magic was pretty much the only guaranteed type of magic that could harm them. Then again, that applied to all types of undead usually. He couldn't risk using that though. They likely weren't that tough or regular groups of adventurers wouldn't be able to hunt in relative safety within the dungeon. If that was the case...
Thomas lifted up his hand while channeling a large amount of mana into a sphere above his palm. As he converted it the sphere became pitch black and didn't reflect any light, it even seemed to be absorbing light from the surroundings. He hoped this would be effective against the wraiths but even if it wasn't it would take out the other monsters without an issue. He stepped into the room and immediately caught the attention of every monster within.
Ignoring them, he lifted his hand and pointed the black sphere in their direction. As they started to move toward him a small hole opened up in the black sphere. Blindingly bright light erupted from the hole and shot out like a laser beam. He swept his arm from left to right causing the beam of light to carve a gory path through the monsters. The intense beam sliced through them like a hot knife through butter. The skeletons crumbled to the ground as their arms and spines were severed. The zombies fell into similar piles while steam rose from the slices caused by the beam. The wraiths howled in agony but didn't die instantly like the other monsters.
The spell Thomas used compressed mana into his hand as tightly as he could get it before converting it to the Light element. The sphere was black because he made it so that none of the light could leak out and would be forced to leave through the small opening he created. With only a single exit the light had no choice but to gush out of the opening with force creating a powerful beam of light. He'd experimented with it on the second floor on his way here but this was the first time he'd done it with so much mana.
The wraiths let out furious howls as they all charged toward Thomas. Since physical attacks were unlikely to deal any damage to them, he ignored all of his weapons and instead summoned mana into both of his hands. Flames immediately started to roar from his palms. As he poured in more mana and condensed it the temperature of the flames grew while their color shifted from red to blue. Much like enchanting, magic was all about visualization. In fact, Thomas was starting to think that enchanting was really just scribing semi-permanent spells into an object using the mana crystals as a catalyst.
Disregarding that for the moment, he lifted his arms and pressed his wrists together with his fingers spread. The two roaring blue flames combined into a single more powerful flame. Once they did they burst out into a massive fan of fire that washed over the charging wraiths. The wraiths screamed in agony as the flames burned them to death in a very short amount of time.
Thomas lowered his steaming palms and observed the room for any survivors from his little spat of monster slaughter. There was nothing left in the room but mana crystals scattered on the dungeon floor. Snowlily walked into the room while sniffing around and looking at the damage that Thomas had done. Thomas walked around and started to pick up the mana crystals. As he was reaching for the fifth one a wraith launched itself out of the wall nearest to him. Before Thomas could react the wraith opened its mouth wider than should have been physically possible. Ice cold blue light formed in its throat as it began to loudly inhale.
Thomas shivered as he felt his life force being forcibly sucked out of him by the wraith. Thomas collapsed onto one knee as energy was being drained from him. Snowlily growled viciously as she launched a barrage of icicles at the wraith to try and protect Thomas. The icicles did little though as they passed harmlessly through the wraith to slam into the wall behind it. Snowlily didn't give up and continued to launch her spell at the wraith to try and distract it away from Thomas. Seeing her effort to help him warmed Thomas's heart. He lifted his hand while channeling a large amount of mana into it. The wraith hadn't moved since it began its attack turning itself into an easy target.
The mana flashed into a blue flame and blasted out like a flamethrower to consume the wraith. The wraith wailed in agony as the flames burned it until its life was extinguished. The wraiths ghost body disintegrated into mist while a mana crystal dropped onto the floor beneath it. With the wraith dead its attack ended. Thomas felt drained and exhausted as he sat on the floor to recover his breath. The wraiths attack had done no physical damage to his body but had drained both his stamina and his mana instead.
After catching his breath he stroked Snowlily's head and smiled at her, "Thanks for trying to help me out."
Snowlily nuzzled into his hand while he pet her. Eventually, he had to stop and close his eyes to relax and activate 'Serenity' to recover his lost energy quickly. The day so far had been pretty standard. Waking up, eating breakfast, then heading into the dungeon. They'd gotten lucky and found the entrance to the third floor after only having to take out a hundred or so zombies. He'd been hoping the third floor would be bereft of zombies, but that hope had been shattered. Now he not only had to deal with them but the skeletons and wraiths as well.
Once he had fully recovered, Thomas moved deeper into the dungeon and continued his slaughter along with Snowlily. The wraiths proved to be the more difficult monsters to deal with. They would frequently dive into the walls to hide from his spells then leap back out and attack him with their draining attacks. Thanks to those attacks, he was forced to take more frequent breaks to recover his energy. It was greatly slowing down their progress and effecting how much experience they were gaining. The only reason he continued on the third floor is that he'd found out that the fourth floor was the boss floor.
For hours they repeated the cycle of slaughtering a small horde of monsters and then resting, even taking a proper break to eat their lunch. As it was closing in on evening, they finally found the entrance leading down to the fourth floor. When they arrived there was only a single group of adventurers waiting in front of the closed doors. Since it was standard procedure the two of them picked a spot a little ways away from the other group to wait their turn. Thomas pulled some snacks out of his inventory and enjoyed them with Snowlily.
They had to wait nearly twenty minutes for the doors to the boss room to open and allow the group in front of them inside. No other groups had shown up to wait for the boss after them. It seemed like this boss might not be very popular. This time the wait wasn't nearly as long. Within five minutes of the group entering the boss room, the doors opened to show the darkness within it. Thomas walked up to the doors and set the boss on normal difficulty. Together they moved past the opened doors and watched as they closed automatically when the whole 'party' was inside.
As soon as the doors closed there was the familiar sight of the torches along the walls of the room bursting into flames to provide some light to see by. In the shadowy center of the room was a writhing black mass of fog. Thomas drew his shortsword in case he could use it in the fight while simultaneously summoning a thick mass of mana into his left hand. Snowlily trotted along at his side while he moved toward the center of the room. Thomas remained on full alert as he observed the black mass of fog. He had no idea what to expect, according to the guild the boss would be a higher class of undead based on the first three floors of the dungeon.
As they approached the fog began to condense and slowly take on a solid form. Luxurious black robes and a solid glossy wooden staff topped with a brilliant black gem grasped by pure white bones. A stark white skull with slightly elongated canine teeth, deep eyesockets with glowing red flames, and a golden crown just visible beneath the hood. There was only one monster that Thomas could think of that looked like this, a Lich.
Ironically the lich looked far more lively than the skeletons from the first and third floor of the dungeon as it's glowing eye sockets turned to focus on Thomas and Snowlily. Its jaw opened with a click to let a hideous deep voice out, "The living must die. The dead must rise. Die. Then. Rise."
Thomas got shivers from the way the lich spoke but didn't really feel any fear. It was just creepy seeing a skeleton talk. Its jaw didn't even move after it opened, the voice just came out. After issuing its speech the lich lifted its staff into the air. Black mana gathered around the gem on top of its staff until it launched out in an arrow-like shape at Thomas. Thomas dodged to the side and rolled out of the way. Landing on his knee he lifted his hand and fired a blast of blue flames at the lich. Snowlily crouched down and opened her mouth to fire a large sharpened icicle at the lich at the same time.
In response, the lich simply waved its staff in the air. A black shroud swirled in front of the lich to block the two attacks stopping them in their tracks. With another wave of its staff the lich sent out a wave of black arrows at both of them. Thomas lifted his hand with his fingers spread wide. Mana coursed out of his body into a flat plane that turned into a thick round plate of solid steel. Snowlily spread her mana around her body and created a hemisphere of ice to protect her body from harm. Multiple black arrows impacted their shields with loud ringing sounds. Dents formed in Thomas's shield while cracks appeared on Snowlily's.
When the wave of arrows ended they both canceled their shields and went back on the offensive. Snowlily started blasting out icicles constantly while she ran circles around the lich. Thomas held his position to hold the lich's attention in one spot. He reached into his inventory and retrieved the iron ball he'd created previously. The ball was no longer in pristine condition having been battered and dented from impacting skeletons and the dungeon walls. Thomas created an invisible beam of mana between the lich and the spot just in front of the iron ball.
As more power was poured into the spell the magnetic forces increased drastically. The instant Thomas connected the spell to the iron ball it was ripped off of his hand and flew through the air at an impossible speed. Less than a quarter of the distance between Thomas and the lich was far enough for there to be a small sonic boom as the ball surpassed the speed of sound. The lich barely managed to even begin to lift its staff to cast its defense spell before the iron ball slammed into its skull. Its bones cracked loudly as the force of the blow knocked it clean off of its feet and sent it tumbling through the air.
Snowlily didn't miss her chance. White mist flowed from her muzzle as she cast a spell to cover the dungeon floor where the lich would land in a thick layer of slippery ice. The lich crashed into the ice patch where its momentum took over and caused it to slide swiftly across the floor and slam into the dungeon wall. Both Thomas and Snowlily gathered copious amounts of mana and launched spells at the lich. Snowlily created a huge boulder of ice while Thomas launched a barrage of thick steel blocks.
Thomas's blocks slammed into the lich first crushing some bones and only cracking others. Snowlily's ice boulder followed up his attack by not only slamming into the lich but also pounding his steel blocks even further into the lich. The sounds of a heavy impact along with snapping bones and tearing cloth echoed through the boss room. When both spells cleared the battered and broken body of the lich came into sight. The two of them readied more spells until they saw the bosses body slowly dissolving into dust and vanishing. It left behind a mana crystal the size of an apple glittering black on the ground.
|System Notice: You have defeated the boss. You may proceed to the fifth floor or exit the dungeon now.|